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Ransomware Detection and Event-based Backup Scheduling Lead the Acronis Backup 12.5 Feature Parade

By June 2, 2017Archiving

It’s summer time and nothing typifies it more in the United States than a parade on one of its summer holidays. Keeping with this tradition, the Acronis Backup 12.5 release rolls out a parade of new features that help differentiate it in a crowded market. Leading its feature parade is the introduction of security software to authenticate preexisting backups; the flexibility to customize the names of archived backups; and, event-based backup scheduling all caught my eye as features that few other backup software products currently offer.

These days almost any product briefing with any backup software provider starts with some mention of how they deal with ransomware and, really, how can you blame them? Management is usually more aware of the quality of the coffee in the break room than their company’s ability to recover from backup. Ransomware has changed all of that. Suddenly having viable backups from which one can quickly and easily recover from a ransomware attack has the attention of everyone from department level managers to executives in corporate boardrooms.

While it can be said with some level of certainly that any properly configured backup software product provides some level of protection again ransomware, the ability of each backup software product to do so varies. Further, ransomware is rapidly evolving. Acronis recently became aware of at least one iteration of ransomware that is corrupting/infecting older backups that reside on disk. In this variation, even possessing older backups may not guarantee a good restore since the ransomware may infect those backups.

This is how the Acronis Backup 12.5 feature parade begins: by setting itself apart using security software to authenticate backup files. Part of its new Acronis Active Protection feature functionality, the security software actively monitors preexisting backup files for any changes to them and compares them to the original state of the backup. If unauthorized changes to older backups are detected, it creates an alert and restores the backup to its original state.

The second feature found in Acronis Backup 12.5 focuses less on engineering and more on Acronis listening to its customer base. Its beta testing for 12.5 was done by nearly 3,000 of its customers. Feedback out of that testing was their desire to give archived backups more meaningful names. Up to that point, archived backups were given an automated, predetermined name assigned by Acronis Backup. In version 12.5, users have flexibility to assign names to archived backups that are easier to identify and use by applications other than Acronis.

The third feature up in the Acronis Backup 12.5 parade of features is its introduction of event-based backup scheduling. Almost every administrator has had a moment of concern or regret after he or she decommissions a server, or applies a patch or upgrade to it and realizes they did not think to do a backup of it to do a fail back or recovery if necessary. Event-based backup scheduling takes this worry about forgetting to complete this step off their plate. By configuring this feature within Acronis Backup 12.5 for protected servers, as soon as they initiate one of these activities, Acronis detects this task and completes a backup before the server is decommissioned, patched, or upgraded.

Young or old, everyone seems to love a parade in the summer as they watch the participants and anticipate the next float coming around the bend. The Acronis Backup 12.5 release contains a parade of features with three of them providing organizations new benchmarks by which to measure backup software in both innovative and practical manners. Whether it is helping companies to better detect and protect against ransomware or giving them better, more practical means to manage backups in their environment, Acronis Backup 12.5 provides some of the key new features that organizations need in today’s rapidly evolving world of data protection.

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Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Lead Analyst of DCIG, Inc.

Jerome Wendt is the President and Lead Analyst of DCIG Inc., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in September 2006.

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